Preparing objects for embedding in resin

I’ve had a few people recently ask me about what can or can’t be embedded in resin, and how they should go about preparing the items ready for use in resin, so I thought I’d share some information that should hopefully help in your experiments!

Paper
For best results, print the image on photo paper and leave 24 hours to thoroughly dry. You can often embed it like this straight away, but for extra caution, seal the image with PVA glue. This will stop the greasy blotch marks appearing that can spoil the work you’re doing.

Shrink Plastic
Shrink first and leave to cool. Spray with a couple of coats of car lacquer to seal the image, leaving half an hour between each coat.

Polymer Clay
Bake in the oven first to set the colour and shape as the heat from the exothermic reaction when the resin is setting might affect the look you’re going for. You shouldn’t need to varnish, simply embed them once cool.

Flowers and leaves
These need to be dried out first as resin hates water! You can bury them in silica gel for a few days (depending on the specimen type) for best results, or with some small blooms you can put them in a dark, dry cupboard or drawer for a few days instead. You could also press the flowers first.

Insects
Spray butterflies and moths with hairspray from about a foot away to seal their dusty wings. For beetles, clean with acetone to remove the natural oils, then once dry dip in uncatalysed resin and leave overnight to drain.

Coins, stones and shells
Clean with detergent and leave to dry. To make the coins shiny again, use acetone with steel wool to remove the oxidation. Once dry, dip in uncatalysed resin and leave overnight to drain.

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5 Comments

  1. princesspenguin
    Posted September 10, 2009 at 4:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thank you! Very informative! So far I’ve only been using scrapbook paper but I’m dying to try flowers and leaves!

  2. Posted September 14, 2009 at 1:18 am | Permalink | Reply

    Good information. Difficult to do!

  3. Gina
    Posted October 18, 2009 at 5:51 am | Permalink | Reply

    thanks for the information I am particularly having problems with fabric discolouring when I pour my resin onto it. Is there some sealer I can use, I have tried modge podge like pva glue but it makes the fabric real dark.

    cheers
    g

    • Posted October 18, 2009 at 8:52 am | Permalink | Reply

      That is really strange- I have never had that problem! Have you checked your mixing ratio and tried some of the designer fabrics? I mainly use the fabrics used for patchwork- quite good quality fabrics- and have not experienced this. If neither of these things solve it, it might just be a property of epoxy resin and how the molecule strands attach together in the curing process- I use polyester resin and it cures differently, making it a bit more forgiving at times.

  4. Posted April 22, 2010 at 7:04 am | Permalink | Reply

    To make coins shiney again pop them in coca cola for a few hours… shiney, shiney, shiney.

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